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Laramie Wyoming Addiction Rehab Centers


Substance abuse and addiction are serious problems that have long-reaching effects across the entire United States. These problems are not insurmountable, however, and caring professionals can make the difference between tragedy and a full, satisfying and sober life. Laramie Wyoming addiction rehab centers might be just what you need to leave your drug or alcohol problem behind you.


A Technical Definition of Substance Abuse

Experts do not agree on a universal definition for substance abuse. Some professionals define it as the overindulgence in a chemical, such as drinking excessively. This definition ignores other important elements, however. For instance, a person might take a reasonable dose of a substance, but they might do so because they want to escape negative feelings. Similarly, individuals can use substances that do not belong to them, or that were never intended for health-related consumption (e.g. lighter fluid). Thus, a very general or broad definition for substance abuse is the inappropriate consumption of any psychoactive (mood/perception-altering) chemical.


From the biological standpoint, substance abuse does not cause changes to the user’s brain. The individual does not become emotionally or physically dependent on the substance, and they generally do not suffer any withdrawal symptoms if they don’t use. The user has control and makes a conscious choice to consume the substance. This is not to say that substance abuse is not dangerous, however. Side effects such as elevated body temperature and irregular or slowed breathing and heart rate are possible with many chemicals, and they can and do result in brain damage, organ failure or death, sometimes on the very first use. It is for this reason that professionals stress the necessity for education and intervention with substance abusers.


A Technical Definition of Addiction

Addiction occurs as a result of continued substance abuse. It differs from substance abuse in that repeated exposure to a chemical causes biological changes to the user’s brain. More specifically, the drug either floods the brain with dopamine—a neurotransmitter connected both to pain and pleasure—or stops the body from recycling it. The brain, trying to deal with this dopamine increase, slows or shuts off dopamine production and release. The problem is, the user needs the dopamine not only to feel happy, but also for good operation of the nervous system, kidneys, pancreas and more. Thus, the user needs the drug to keep the level of dopamine high enough and to function normally. They do not have a choice about whether to consume the drug because of these biological modifications, which is why the vast majority of modern physicians now refer to and treat addiction as a disease. Addiction is associated not only with physical dependence, but also emotional dependence. Withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, vomiting, anxiety, and depression are common if the user doesn’t have access to the substance.


The Predictable Path to a Devastating Disease

Professionals have broken down the progression to addiction into four clearly identifiable steps, although the amount of time it takes for a user to move through these stages has enormous variance. Users start out in the experimentation stage, taking the drug for the first time. They typically don’t plan the consumption or have any intent to repeat it. Social elements often come into play, such as the desire to do what friends are doing and subsequently fit in. Some users take their initial dose because they are curious, while others have an honest desire for pain relief. Whatever the reason for starting the abuse, the user eventually moves to the regular use stage, assuming their initial experience with the drug is positive. Consumption of the drug becomes habitual, but it doesn’t interfere with work, relationships or other areas of the user’s life. The user still has good control about whether to take the drug. If the user doesn’t get help, however, they progress to the risky use stage, where refusing the drug becomes extremely challenging. They start having difficulties with others or in their daily activities because of the drug and start showing preference to drug-related socialization or entertainment. It’s thus very common for the user to shift relationships at this point. The user also might take part in other negative behavior, such as higher promiscuity, because of the drug. Lastly, the user slips into addiction. They lose control over whether to consume the drug and are directed by their emotional and physical dependence. They keep using despite the negative results that occur. Most addicts deny or are oblivious to the severity of their problem and need help from professionals to get back on track.


Substance Abuse and Addiction: Wyoming Has a Problem

Wyoming has been a hot spot for alcohol abuse and addiction for a number of years, ranking among the top areas in the entire nation in the past. The region’s issue with alcohol is still present today. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that Wyoming has a rate of alcohol abuse and dependence of 8.1 percent, above the national average of 6.7 percent. Illicit drug abuse and dependence has a rate of 2.3 percent compared to the national average of 2.7%, but experts in the state have expressed concern at the rising number of opiate-related cases. The number of individuals treated with medication-assisted therapy (buprenorphine) has spiked from 11 in 2009 to 182 in 2013. More specific to Laramie, the Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center reports that, for the combined year average from 2009 to 2013, Albany County ranked highest in the state for alcohol related arrests. Additionally, although youth in Albany County have a drug-related arrest rate lower than that for the state (280 vs. 400, respectively), the drug-related arrest rate for Albany County adults is higher than that for the state (798 vs. 608, respectively). Heroin is of specific concern.


Accredited Laramie Wyoming Addiction Rehab Centers

  • Peak Wellness is an addiction recovery center in Laramie, Wyoming that provides comprehensive treatment options. Services range from case management to social detoxification and support groups. The facility has several sister locations in Laramie, Platte and Goshen County.
  • The Clinic for Mental Health and Wellness operates in Laramie, Wyoming primarily on an outpatient basis. The facility offers substance abuse aid for both adolescents and adults, including evaluation services. It also welcomes DUI offenders, accepting a range of different insurances.
  • Behavioral Health Services of Ivinson Memorial Hospital offers addiction and substance abuse assistance through its Behavioral Health Services department. It accepts individuals for emergency psychiatric and hospital inpatient care. The facility is open to children, adolescents, teens, adults and seniors, but the number of beds is relatively limited.


Make Getting Help from Professionals Your Priority

Although it’s normal to be anxious about entering Laramie Wyoming addiction rehab centers, getting professional care typically means a longer-lasting and more successful recovery than if you tried to quit on your own. Professionals can keep you safe through your recovery through behavior therapies and medication assistance, and they can help you come to terms with the reasons why you use, making plans for better habits. As a bonus, substance abuse and addiction professionals can get you involved with other experts, such as dieticians, as well as a range of different support groups, for added help.


Meeting with Others Can Make a Difference

Laramie, Wyoming, hosts some of the best-known substance abuse and addiction groups, such as Al-Anon and Narcotics Anonymous. The members of these groups can help you stay responsible as you recover, and they provide a safe environment in which to tell your story and talk through problems. If you prefer to attend a support group outside of Laramie for privacy or other reasons, groups also meet in nearby cities, such as Cheyenne, Torrington, Rawlins, Fort Collins (CO), and Greeley (CO).


Getting Well in Laramie, Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming is an excellent choice as a recovery base first because of its incredible location, which provides relatively close access to the Laramie Mountains and Medicine Bow Mountains. This geography provides multiple options to get in touch with nature through meditation, hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping and more, all while getting good exercise that supports your recovery. The region also offers attractions such as the University of Wyoming and American Heritage Center, supporting a vibrant Western culture full of history.


Your Journey to Sobriety Can Start Today

When you try to recover alone, you rob yourself of the chance to address the issues behind your drug or alcohol problem on a deep level with effective tools. Professional help not only speeds your recovery, but makes it longer-lasting and safer. Pick up the phone and speak with an addiction specialist when you are serious about your sobriety.